The Washington Post tiptoed gently on Friday around Joe Biden’s hopes of being elected president in 2016. “For Biden, dreams vs. realities” is the story’s headline, but at the very top of Page One, it says “At the top of his political game, the vice president shines as Obama’s personable No. 2. But events may conspire against a 2016 promotion.”
Post reporter Philip Rucker rather comically took 30 paragraphs to establish one series of “events” that threaten Biden are gaffes. The front page says Biden is a “long shot at best,” but insists he’s seen as “genuine, down-to-earth, rock solid on the issues" and “clearly has the experience and gravitas to ascend to the presidency.”
In the liberal fantasyland that is the Associated Press, it's only Republican governors with an eye on 2016 that are fraught with potential problems that could end their campaigns before they begin. In their May 2 AP story, reporters Bob Lewis and Charles Babington sought to convince readers that the Republicans governors of Virginia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Florida are all train wrecks.
Lewis and Babington focused in particular on Virginia's Bob McDonnell and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, who are unpopular in no small part because of moves they made on tax policy. McDonnell signed off on massive tax increases for transportation, while Jindal’s failed attempt to reform his state tax code -- making the state income tax free but boosting some sales taxes to make up for lost revenue -- has eroded his once-stellar popularity. Of course, plenty of Democratic governors thinking about 2016 also hiked taxes, but they were curiously left out of the mix.
Hard-left Daily Beast writer Michael Tomasky has a nasty habit of smearing conservatives every chance he gets, and it seems he has found his newest target, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.). Writing in a May 1 piece for the online publication Tomasky used the FBI investigation over gifts McDonnell received for his daughter’s wedding to slam the Virginia governor's Christian faith.
Tomasky started off his rant by throwing harsh language at the governor, calling his actions, “sleazy and cowardly.” At issue is the controversial relationship McDonnell has with businessman Jonnie Williams and whether or not the governor accepted money for political benefits aimed at Williams’ company, Star Scientific Inc.
How do you know when a Democratic politician's or candidate's quote will either hurt that person or hurt President Obama (in this case, it's the latter)? When the Politico reports it, and the Associated Press avoids it.
Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who is running against former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford for the congressional seat opened up when Tim Scott was appointed to replace Jim DeMint, apparently felt the need to appeal to those who oppose ObamaCare during a debate on Monday evening. Here's what she said, according to Politico's David Nather and Darren Samuelsohn:
You've got hand it to some (probably most) of the reporters at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. Their story is that the economy is all right, and by gosh, they're sticking to it.
Tom Raum's dispatch yesterday is a case in point. Along the way, he pulled out several of the tired spin-driven claims which have long since been taken down but which haven't yet penetrated the skulls of low-information voters. Raum and AP seem puzzled that the supposedly okey-dokey economy doesn't seem to be helping President Obama or Democrats' 2014 congressional and senatorial election prospects (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The left's media-echo chamber just got louder. On Thursday morning in a claimed exclusive, the Politico reported that "(Former presidential adviser and campaign official David) Plouffe will appear regularly on Bloomberg Television to offer analysis and commentary on political and business issues as they impact the intersection of Wall Street, Main Street and K Street and will lend his expertise to the discussion of technology, demographic changes and crisis management."
That day at his new place of work, in response to a "kerfuffle" over errors in an academic paper which showed that, throughout history, government debt levels have held back economic growth -- errors which the authors insisted in a New York Times op-ed did not alter the fundamental validity of their conclusions, Plouffe delivered exactly what one would expect of a "former" lead Obama apparatchik:
Sometimes, the left simply can’t argue against hard facts. In a book excerpt warning of the “resurgent right” on Salon.com, leftist Lee Fang accused Brent Bozell of “gross exaggeration” in describing media apathy on Obama scandals.
Fang reported that in a speech at the Council for National Policy in February 2009, Bozell claimed by the time the national networks ran "a single story on Reverend Wright, 42 states and the District of Columbia had voted." Dear Mr. Fang: please identify the exaggeration in that fact.
As per his 1994 NRA questionnaire, Joe Scarborough: Opposed an assault weapons ban. Opposed expansion of background checks. Opposed limitations on magazine sizes. Today, he supports all such measures.
So how would you describe his two very different sets of opinions? Why, as being "very consistent," of course--if you're Joe Scarborough. On today's Morning Joe, responding to the NRA's promulgation of the NRA questionnaire he submitted in 1994 as an aspiring Republican congressman, Scarborough did indeed claim that his positions today, despite the multiple flip-flops, are "very consistent." View the video after the jump.
Previewing the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on Thursday, rather than positively reflect on the legacy of the Bush presidency, MSNBC unsurprisingly chose to mock and minimize his eight years in office. During The Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd introduced a segment on the former president with a spew of Bush “gaffes." He then mocked, "I miss this part of Bush because Obama never does this stuff."
After playing the clips, Todd spun, "Some of the lighter moments there from Bush's time in office. President Obama's always a little more careful. President Bush would dip into some of those things." Todd has gone so far as to excuse gaffes made by President Obama, blaming his speechwriter for the errors. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
The leftists at Mother Jones are brandishing another secret tape. Pollster Frank Luntz, denounced as too conservative by liberals when he turns up on liberal networks, told a group of college students at the University of Pennsylvania this week that Rush Limbaugh and right-wing talk radio are "problematic" for the GOP and that he and Mark Levin were “killing” Marco Rubio for his immigration proposals.
Democrats have “got every other source of news on their side. And so that is a lot of what's driving it. If you take—Marco Rubio's getting his ass kicked. Who's my Rubio fan here? We talked about it. He's getting destroyed! By Mark Levin, by Rush Limbaugh, and a few others.” This might be a surprise to anyone who's listened to Rubio's actual interviews on conservative talk radio.
Norah O'Donnell spotlighted former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's "troubles with his ex-wife" on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, and asserted that the disgraced Republican "seemed a little bit out of touch" after running a political ad "saying it's been a tough week for him after...what the people in Boston have gone through."
By contrast, O'Donnell's co-anchor, Charlie Rose, played up how "former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner may be eying a return" and touted "why the unlikely scenario is becoming a real possibility" for the Democrat on the April 11, 2013 edition of the morning program, a mere 12 days earlier.
With the monumental collapse of the president’s anti-gun agenda, many are wondering if both sides will “go back into their corners” on gun control. Every single measure in this new bill failed, which elicited the wrath of the president yesterday in the Rose Garden. During the April 17 broadcast of the PBS NewsHour, Gwen Ifill asked why these measures failed to pass, mentioned the popularity of background checks, and failed to press Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on past statements about how this bill really wouldn’t have prevented Sandy Hook ergo more mass shootings.
In fairness, Ifill also had Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from Conneticut, on the program to discuss the failed bill. While he said his organization supported some of the amendments in the bill, they couldn’t back it due to the background check provision, noting it would have harmed gun sellers who rely heavily on weekend sales, when most customers come to their stores [emphasis mine]:
Imagine if you will that in last fall's presidential election -- in a crucial swing state no less -- that the widow of an evangelical pastor voted for her late husband via absentee ballot, committing voter fraud and arguably also violating federal mail offenses in the process. While the story of her prosecution would probably not be headline news, it's hard to imagine a complete or near-total media blackout on the story.
And yet that's exactly what happened in the case of Sister Marguerite Kloos, a Cincinnati nun who pleaded guilty on Tuesday in a Hamilton County, Ohio, court of voter fraud. While the charge carried a maximum 18-month prison term, Kloos was instead remanded to a "diversion program" and if she maintains good behavior, her record will be wiped clean, Cincinnati.com's Kimball Perry reported.
As NewsBusters colleague Kyle Drennan reported today, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked if President Obama was following the Gosnell case, or NBC’s reporting of it. He dodged the question, but at least NBC acknowledges that a case is actually going on in Philadelphia. The president answered:
Well, I'm familiar with it. I can't comment on it because it's an active trial. What I can say is this. I think President Clinton said it pretty well when he said abortion should be safe, legal and rare. If an individual carrying out an abortion, operating a clinic or doing anything else, is violating medical ethics, violating the law, then they should be prosecuted.
Guthrie failed to ask any follow ups on this, but a sharp reporter might have shot back that “safe, legal, and rare” was language that was actually excised from the Democratic Party platform in Charlotte last year. The platform committee was, of course, stacked with Obama acolytes and included Nancy Kennan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
In part two of her interview with President Obama aired on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie lobbed several softballs, wrapping up the exchange by wondering: "I know you're not endorsing, but do you personally hope that Hillary Clinton runs in 2016?...Do you miss her around here?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Obama used Guthrie's prompting to praise Clinton: "I think she was an extraordinary secretary of state and she became not only a great partner for me in foreign policy, but a good friend....I do [miss her]. She's earned her rest and I know that she's going to be able, whatever she does, to continue to be a leader and an incredibly positive force for the causes I care about and that she cares about, all around the world."
The liberal media love to chastise Republicans for writing off minorities and urban voters, insisting that the GOP is becoming a regional and largely rural party. But that concern trolling doesn't cut both ways. The liberal media never seem to care that Democrats are losing rural, blue collar workers or that the party's failure to be competitive in the rural heartland is an indictment of their ability to bring the country together.
As we've noted, the liberal media generally and the Big Three broadcast networks in particular have studiously avoided paying attention to the Kermit Gosnell murder trial. The Philadelphia abortionist is charged with murdering newborns who survived abortion attempts and were born alive.
But aside from the criminal aspect of the case, there's other angle in the Gosnell matter that is of interest to political observers of the 2014 election cycle, particularly the Pennsylvania governor's race. One of the Democrats vying for the nomination to challenge Gov. Tom Corbett (R) is Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), who operated an abortion clinic from 1975-1988. J.D. Mullane of the Bucks County Courier News has some great, incisive questions for Schwartz connected to the Gosnell matter, particularly whether Schwartz ever referred any patients to Gosnell. Her clinic stopped performing abortions in 1984, but continued with issuing referrals to other clinics. Schwartz has been curiously silent on the issue, and larger media outlets seem to be silent as well, failing to ask her if she ever referred women to Gosnell, for example.
When a secret, closed-door conversation about campaign strategy is recorded, illegally, and put out in the public domain, it's a significant story about invasion of privacy that should generate media attention. But of course, the target of the recording in question was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), so naturally the liberal media are turning a critical eye on him rather than the group that made the illegal recording.
On Saturday’s Today, NBC brought on the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman to spin the controversy into a story about McConnell’s weaknesses and wrongdoings. Co-host Erica Hill started by asking if the conversation was recorded illegally. Fineman danced around the matter with an evasive answer: “Well, that's an open question... In Kentucky law and federal law it's possibly illegal, but that's open to question because the person recording it could also hear it.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Do you oppose President Obama's gun control proposals? Well then, you must not be against gun violence. So suggested a guest this morning on the new MSNBC show, Up With Steve Kornacki.
Leah Gunn Barrett [insert wisecrack on middle name here], of "New Yorkers Against Gun Violence," was trying to explain away why Second Amendment advocates do so well politically. According to her, gun "enthusiasts" are single-issue voters with good grassroots organization. In contrast, "people who are against gun violence" aren't as well organized. View the video after the jump.
On Thursday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd urged Republicans to back gun restrictions or risk alienation from female voters: "Look at the massive gender gap....65% of women want stricter gun laws, 44% of men. So if you make the argument to Republicans...if you want to continue to have problems with women voters, don't deal with this gun issue. If you want to start trying to win over suburban women, maybe you need to tackle it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
**UPDATE** As of this posting, Politico reports that a Democratic official told a local Kentucky radio station that Progress Kentucky was responsible for the secret recording of McConnell's campaign office.
Leave it to the Washington Post to provide a sympathetic puff piece to liberal journalist David Corn’s recent release of secretly-recorded audio attempting to smear a Republican politician.
Corn, you may recall, published an exclusive in Mother Jones featuring a strategy session for Sen. Mitch McConnell's reelection campaign, where opposition research into potential opponent Ashley Judd was discussed.
On Thursday, the morning shows on NBC, CBS, and ABC all touted a New York Times Magazine profile of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, an article designed to rehabilitate the Democrat's image in preparation for a mayoral run in New York City. On NBC's Today, correspondent Stephanie Gosk explained: "Most people wanted to know whether or not he had learned from his mistakes before they could vote for him. His wife says she forgives him."
Gosk detailed Weiner's expression of regret for the 2011 sexting scandal that ended his congressional career: "Both Weiner and his wife revealing in their own words how it happened, why it happened, and the damage it caused....Weiner describes the shame and the guilt." A sound bite was featured of NYT magazine interviewer Jonathan Van Meter sympathetically recalling: "[Weiner's] still wracked with a sort of shame and pain and guilt about it, and – and he cried, I think every time I interviewed him, at some point."
On Tuesday's World News and Wednesday's Good Morning Ameica, ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Jim Avila ballyhooed far-left magazine Mother Jones's secretly-recorded audio recording of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's strategy meeting with political advisers about potential opponent Ashley Judd. Stephanopoulos touted the "startling secret tape revealing how the Senate's top Republican was planning to go after...Judd if she ran against him."
Avila played up McConnell's apparent "cutthroat attack on a Hollywood opponent" and the Republican's "private and politically-embarrassing strategy session", all the while omitting left-of-center ideology of the publication that released the audio clip and minimizing the possible illegality of its recording.
President Obama’s budget is finally out -- a mere 65 days late -- and it’s loaded with tax increases.
At yesterday’s press briefing, White House flack-in-chief Jay Carney admitted that middle class tax increases were coming. But if a tree falls in the woods, does anyone hear it? Major media outlets like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and sadly even the Wall Street Journal failed to mention this aspect in their coverage of the budget’s unveiling today. Here's the relevant exchange from the April 9 briefing (emphasis mine):
Is it MSNBC or MSDNC? Andrew Kirell of Mediaite reported today that the left-wing commentary network has hired the Democratic National Committee’s director of video production, Anne Thompson, to produce the network’s newest weekend show Up with Steve Kornacki. Yet, this is just another episode in the annals of MSNBC’s revolving door of hiring Obamaites. MSNBC has already hired David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, two high-level Obama campaign advisors. On top of that, other Obama acolytes Like Ben LaBolt are recurring guests on shows like Now with Alex Wagner.
If MSNBC’s president, Phil Griffin, was really trying to distance himself from the Democratic Party, this was a poor decision. Griffin has been trying to dispel the fledgling narrative that his network is nothing more than a communications outlet for the DNC.
It appears as though MSNBC’s war on women agenda has found a new target, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The subject of this controversy comes from the liberal Mother Jones magazine, which obtained audio of a McConnell campaign meeting discussing a potential challenge from Ashley Judd for Senate and preparing a dossier on weaknesses she has as a candidate.
The liberal media, particularly MSNBC, have been busy using the leaked audio as an occasion to bludgeon McConnell, but MSNBC Live host Thomas Roberts took things a step further on his April 10 program by posing a question to his audience obviously devised as a call to the liberal actress to get back into the game and run for Senate in 2014 after all:
Was Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign office bugged or do they have a mole on their team? Lots of finger pointing over those secret strategy tapes making fun of actress Ashley Judd if she were to throw her hat in the ring and run against him. And that leads our question of the day for you. Should Ashley Judd reconsider running now that Mitch McConnell’s opposition playbook has been revealed?
Apparently former congressman Anthony Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, granted the New York Times Magazine a long interview with the intent of preparing the public for a new post-tweet exposure scandal campaign for public office, most likely for New York mayor. However, if Weiner thought he could put the scandal, and the jokes, behind him he would be wrong. Although the extended profile of over 8300 words written by Jonathan Van Meter was mostly sympathetic, it just couldn't resist repeating an absolutely hilarious Weiner joke as told by former DNC chairman, Terry McAuliffe.
The Weiner joke is so funny that your humble correspondent is placing it below the fold so you have time to put down your drinks and spare soaking your screens and keyboards. Oh, and if there are any kids around, please tell them to step away since the joke is risqué. Very risqué:
With his penchant for ripping Republicans rather than Democrats, Joe Scarborough likely long ago ruined his chances of winning a Republican primary. But the Morning Joe host today jokingly acknowledged how particularly tough it would now be, after Harry Reid yesterday approvingly quoted him on the Senate floor.
Ever since Newtown, Scarborough has been waging a daily campaign for gun control, repeatedly scourging Republicans for their opposition to President Obama's proposals. Quoth Reid: "Scarborough tears into GOP filibuster on gun bill, and I quote, 'is anybody awake in my party?'" View the video after the jump.
At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer eagerly promoted the possibility of Chelsea Clinton, currently an NBC News special correspondent, one day running for office: "Following in the footsteps? Chelsea Clinton opens up in a rare interview about her mom's presidential ambitions, while leaving the door open for her own run for office."
In the later report, designed to increase buzz about Hillary Clinton's possible 2016 run, correspondent John Yang heralded: "Chelsea Clinton is stepping out....For the first time taking a leading role with her father at CGIU, the Clinton Global Initiative's meeting for college students, and appearing on the cover of Parade magazine. In a rare TV interview...[she] gives her unique perspective on the clamor for her mother to get into the 2016 White House race....And she's leaving the door open to a candidacy of her own."
Appearing on Monday's Today, Abby Huntsman, daughter of former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, offered kind words eulogizing Margaret Thatcher: "What we know about Margaret Thatcher is she's a woman with so much courage...She really sticks to her convictions, and that's rare today. I think she really paved the way for women in politics....her legacy will be remembered forever." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
News reader Natalie Morales seized on Huntsman's comments as the "perfect segue" to a panel discussion about the political aspirations of Hillary Clinton. Co-host Willie Geist declared: "Absolutely, our Take Three, talking about the woman who could be the leader of this country, about 35 years or more than after the fact in Great Britain, Chelsea Clinton speaking out this morning on speculation that her mother will once again run for president."