"[I] think that McCain has certain political virtues that other Republicans don't, which is that he actually has kind of a record of being, of being conciliatory - that there's actually - I mean, I don't what it means for the electoral future of the Democratic Party, but there are the possibilities for doing some interesting things with McCain as a leader, and I'm mostly thinking about global warming - where McCain has the best track record on energy and environment on the Republican side in the Senate," Foer concluded. "So, I think you have some really good possibility for a Nixon-to-China type solution to climate change if he decides that that's going to be the thing he is going to use to build a bridge."
On the verge of foisting McCain on the Republican Party-- and then turning viciously upon him
Straight Talk The media’s long love affair with the maverick, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, may be finally about to bear presidential primary fruit.
The Straight Talk Express has taken a circuitous route to the precipice of the Republican nomination and -- throughout the journey -- its co-pilot has been the national media, who rarely have loved a Republican more.
The voters had a temper tantrum last week . . . Parenting and governing don't have to be dirty words: the nation can't be run by an angry two-year-old. -- Peter Jennings, November 14, 1994, on the Republican landslide.
[C]onservatives . . . can choose to stand aside from history while having a temper tantrum. But they should consider that the American people might then choose not to invite them back into a position of responsibility for quite a while to come. -- William Kristol, February 4, 2008, on conservative aversion to McCain.
It's one thing to have been bawled out by the late Peter Jennings. But do conservatives have to have their knuckles rapped by one of their own, Bill Kristol? Apparently yes, as per the Weekly Standard editor's New York Times column of today,Dyspepsia on the Right.
ABC reporter Deborah Roberts interviewed Michelle Obama on Monday's "Good Morning America" and glossed over some of the more controversial statements of this "fascinating," "straight-talking," "charming" woman.
Roberts appeared comfortable repeating talking points from "the spouse of politics' newest star" and didn't challenge Mrs. Obama on her assertion, from November 2007, that it will be America's fault if her husband isn't elected. Instead, Roberts simply recited, "I asked her about race in this campaign....She and her husband refuse to dwell on it." Continuing the spin, she added, "They genuinely believe that people want to move beyond that, talk about something else."
On the Monday "Today" show co-host Ann Curry was breaking down the delegate counts for each Super Tuesday state with NBC's political director Chuck Todd but when it came to finding Barack Obama's home state of Illinois on the map, Curry pointed to Minnesota instead.
The following exchange occurred on the February 4 "Today" show:
ANN CURRY: Okay let's talk about the home states because we've got Illinois--
When a Democrat pulls off an upset in California, it's a "win." If a disfavored Republican does the same, he's "stealing." Just ask George Stephanopoulos, appearing on today's Good Morning America.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS [pointing to map]: This is Barack Obama's targets tomorrow night, this is what I'm going to be watching. If he wins Massachussetts, where he's got the support of Ted Kennedy, he's going to have a good night. If he wins Missouri, right in the middle of the country, he's going to have a great night. If he wins California tomorrow night, it is going to be very hard to deny him the nomination.
Remember when the media was concerned about the tone of the Presidential discourse?
About how it had fallen to new lows when an audience member, in querying Republican Senator and aspirant John McCain on November 13th of last year, referred to Democrat hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) as a female dog? CNN's Rick Sanchez tried desperately to create a scandal out of whole cloth, insisting that Senator McCain was obligated to lash said woman verbally and with a wet noodle in defense of HRC's honor.
Opening for Hillary? Obama has spoken some sense on the surge . . .
Whereas Obama's claim to foreign policy fame among Dems has been his opposition from day one to the Iraq war, it appears he may have now put himself to the right of Hillary Clinton on the issue of sustaining the surge.
Readers will recall that when Tim Russert asked Clinton on Meet the Press of January 13th whether she would be open to sustaining the surge through the end of the year if General Petraeus requested it, Hillary tersely answered "No, and here's why, Tim."
But confronted with a similar hypothetical on this morning's Early Show, Obama evinced more flexibility.
Serious question: why does Mika Brzezinski bother? Why does she sustain the charade of non-partisanship? Not a day goes by that host Joe Scarborough doesn't proclaim his conservative Republicanism. But despite a mountain of evidence as documented here over the months, Brzezinski continues to deny the undeniable: that she is a partisan Democrat.
On today's Morning Joe, Mika first put her GOP consultant cap on, counseling Republicans to stop supporting Romney, then floated the notion that she might actually vote Republican in the fall. The duo were mulling the latest poll numbers, which showed Mitt Romney having jumped up over the last month.
On this Super Sunday, it's fitting I suppose that Mike Huckabee would be out there blocking and tackling for Team McCain. Appearing on this morning's Today show, the former Arkansas governor made a pro forma claim that he's still running for president and not the veep slot. But Huckabee certainly seemed to be acting as what Mark Steyn described in a recent Hugh Hewitt interview as McCain's "wing man."
Consider Huckabee's reply to a question from Sunday co-host Jenna Wolfe [a resident, coincidentally, of Chappaqua, NY, home to Bill and Hillary.]
As its Hollywood-borrowed headline There Will Be Blood suggests, the gist of Maureen Dowd's column today is that appearances of that icky post-debate clinch notwithstanding, there is no love lost between Hillary and Obama. The junior senator from Illinois won't agree to run as Hillary's vice-presidential candidate. Or as Maureen metaphorically puts it:
Why would Obama want to follow in the frustrated footsteps of Al Gore . . . being third banana to Billary?
Along the way, Dowd appears to break some news of a confrontation between the two that one camp views as having been physical . . .
Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) talks with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) as they wait for President Bush to deliver the final State of the Union address of his presidency at the Capitol building, January 28, 2008. [Reuters]
Interviewing Hillary Clinton for Wednesday's "Nightline," anchor Cynthia McFadden speculated that a Bill and Hillary co-presidency could be a "good idea" and wondered what the New York Senator thinks about late into the evening. She sympathetically asked, "When you lie awake at night...what worries you?" Following Clinton's long answer about how "to whom much is given, much is required," McFadden approvingly remarked, "Good Methodist girl." In turn, Clinton accepted the compliment and asserted, "It is, indeed, who I am."
Back in December, McFadden posed a similar query. For that interview, the ABC host asked, "There's never a night when you go back to whatever hotel room, whatever city you're in that night, and crawl in a ball and say, 'I just, this just hurts too much?"
One major flash-point in the January 21 Democratic debate was when Hillary Clinton slammed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for ties to Tony Rezko, an indicted real estate developer. Shortly thereafter a photo from the Clinton administration depicting Sen. Clinton with Rezko and her husband came to the fore, and Clinton subsequently denied knowing Rezko.
Fast forward to today and the Associated Press reporting that Hillary Clinton booster L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took campaign contributions from Rezko. The question remains how much the media, outside the Associated Press, will care:
ABC's Jake Tapper took some jabs at conservative columnist Ann Coulter in a February 1 post to his Political Punch blog. Coulter, no McCain fan she, went so far as to facetiously pledge on "Hannity & Colmes" that she'd campaign for Hillary Clinton if she were the Democratic nominee and Sen. McCain her GOP opponent.
To my judgment, Tapper did land a few good hits in laying out his case for how, objectively speaking, McCain is to the right of Clinton, but he then swung a left hook in his conclusion that unfairly dismissed other conservative critics of McCain (emphasis mine):
On Friday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith analyzed Thursday’s Democratic debate with Democratic strategist Joe Trippi and the left wing editor of "The Nation," Katrina Vanden Heuvel, who called the debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama "a historic first,"while referring to Republicans as the "Grim Old Party" and "a restricted white men's club." Vanden Heuvel went to say that, "You also had a sheer -- the difference in policy knowledge and competence between Obama and Clinton and the Republican field to me was staggering."
This analysis of the Democratic debate followed Thursday’s analysis of Wednesday’s Republican debate, which featured Smith and CBS Political Correspondent and former Robert Kennedy speech writer, Jeff Greenfield, with no Republican guests.
Later in the Friday segment, Vanden Heuvel used a prior "Early Show" news brief about a suicide bomb attack in Iraq to claim "Yeah, I mean, you have a surge that isn't working. Look at the piece you just did." Smith made a feeble attempt at balance by replying, "Well that's arguable." Vanden Heuvel went on to shill for Obama "You have McCain of endless war -- of endless war without accountability and you have two candidates, Obama arguably wants to end this war and end the mind set that brought us into this war."
To recap the previous night’s Democratic debate, "Today" featured two liberal commentators to analyze it. It might be fair had "Today" interviewed two conservatives the previous day to analyze the Republican debate. They did not. Instead, they went to former Carter speechwriter and Obama supporter Chris Matthews.
The February 1 edition of the NBC morning show turned to known liberals Paul Begala and Rachel Maddow. Host Matt Lauer did identify Begala as a Democratic strategist and called Maddow’s radio network, Air America, "liberal." However, "Today’s" bias is obvious giving air time to two liberals and none to conservatives.Perhaps, in the elite media world, former Democratic staffer Matthews is "conservative" because of recent left wing blog attacks for his anti-Hillary comments.
"Good Morning America" correspondent Kate Snow appeared ready to present Academy Award statues to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on Friday's show. The reporter gushed over the performance of the two Democrats at Thursday's Los Angeles-based Democratic debate. She rhapsodized, "So, the nominees for best performance in a televised debate go to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton..."
Snow, as well as GMA co-host Diane Sawyer and "This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos, who appeared later on in the show, couldn't restrain themselves from mentioning the possibility of a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton "dream ticket." Sawyer looked absolutely bubbly during GMA's opening. Lauding the friendly nature of the debate between the senators, she enthused, "And it's Friday, February 1st, 2008 and we all watched last night, right? What about that?!"
Tim Russert isn't practicing his Christmas tree-ornament hanging technique. The Meet the Press host is demonstrating how John McCain is dangling the VP slot to Mike Huckabee. And Huck seems as transfixed as a hound before a bone, judging by the way he's staying in the race against all odds and spending his time taking shots at Mitt Romney.
Russert was a guest during the 7 AM half-hour of Morning Joe.
Don't tell Joe Scarborough that John McCain's the stronger Republican candidate because he can attract voters in the middle. The Morning Joe host has depicted McCain as unelectable because of the opposition to him of two key conservative leaders, Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson.
Scarborough's comments during the opening segment of today's Morning Joe were prompted by an article in today's New York Times that included this line [emphasis added]:
Since his victory in the Florida primary, the growing possibility that Mr. McCain may carry the Republican banner in November is causing anguish to the right. Some, including James C. Dobson and Rush Limbaugh, say it is far too late for forgiveness.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: There are a lot of conservatives that I've heard grousing that have said "I would rather a Democrat win then John McCain."
ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross attacked Hillary Clinton from the left on Thursday's "Good Morning America." The correspondent looked into the Democrat's ties to Wal Mart during the late '80s and early '90s. He found the image of a "very corporate Hillary Clinton" and someone who played "the loyal company woman" to the successful business.
However, the news wasn't all bad for Clinton. GMA co-host Robin Roberts led into the piece with an almost apologetic tone. She labeled the New York senator "probably one of the most investigated politicians in American history." Ross began his segment by informing viewers that Clinton "served for six years on the board of Wal-Mart, the huge retailer criticized by many for its treatment of workers and its strident opposition to unions."
ABC reporters Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts acted as debate coaches for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on Thursday's "Good Morning America." Previewing the January 31 debate between the two, Donaldson suggested that Clinton be aggressive and "put [Obama] on the defensive."
The veteran journalist then casually asserted that it doesn't matter whether the New York senator's charges would be true or not. He spun, "Now, you say, what-- does she come up with something that really isn't accurate? In a sense, unfortunately, doesn't matter. If she can put him on the defensive, so that he has to try to answer something, I think that's what she should probably do." Cokie Roberts contributed more simple advice: Clinton should just let her genius shine through. She enthused, "I think Hillary Clinton should just wow everybody with all of her knowledge, you know, the New York Times editorial calling her brilliant. She should show us that brilliance and not get irritated by him and not go after him."
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith continued the media’s love affair with John and Elizabeth Edwards following the former Senator dropping out of the presidential race: "John Edwards says he is stepping aside so 'history can blaze its path.' And it will tonight. Also this morning, we're going to look at the amazing grace of Elizabeth Edwards who has campaigned passionately beside her husband all these months despite her diagnosis that she is terminally ill."
In a later segment, CBS Correspondent Tracy Smith began by exclaiming: "They've been a team since the start. And that's how they went out. Elizabeth by John's side. It's the end of a campaign made all the more difficult by a disease that would have made a lesser woman give up long ago."
While Harry Smith portrayed Elizabeth Edwards as graceful, reporter Tracy Smith referred to her as being an "attack dog" against the likes of Ann Coulter, whom Edwards ambushed on MSNBC’s "Hardball" on June 26 of last year:
Heaping praise on moderate Republican Rep. Tom Davis (Va.), the Washington Post devoted not one but two articles in the January 31 paper to the congressman. The Post lauded Davis for his centrism, but particularly for angering the Virginia GOP's conservative base. Yet left unmentioned was any analysis suggesting moderation was what felled his wife's 2007 state senate reelection campaign.
Staff writer Bill Turque penned a Metro section front pager ("In Va., Congress, Davis Has Ruled From the Center") that began by noting Davis's Republican Party family pedigree before adding that Davis "crushed" his first political opponent in a 1979 election "by placing himself firmly in the center."
"For his part, Obama appears to view Hillary as a thug who will say anything to win." -- ABC's Dan Harris, GMA, 01-31-08.
Gangsta rappers for Hillary? Could be. After all, Barack Obama apparently sees her as a "thug." At least that's what ABC's Dan Harris said on today's Good Morning America.
ROBIN ROBERTS: And that brings us now to the Democrats. It's their turn tonight. Whatever your political feelings, it's an historic moment in American history. A woman, an African-American man, one will shatter 200 years of history and win the nomination. The stakes could not be any higher. Dan Harris is here with the story.
DAN HARRIS: High stakes, high tension, high drama. The showdown with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has become increasingly acidic. And their positions on the issues are essentially identical but their personalities and personal philosophies are very different.
How is John McCain not a conservative? Let Joe Scarborough count the ways. The Morning Joe host thundered out a bill of particulars today that was nothing less than an indictment of McCain's lack of conservative credentials.
It was Mika Brzezinski's reference to Bob Novak's column of today, questioning McCain's conservatism, that sparked Scarborough's outburst.