In a segment headlined, "The Politics of Distraction," Chris Matthews, on Monday night's "Hardball," dismissed the McCain/Palin campaign's linking of Bill Ayers to Barack Obama. Matthews conjured a scenario where the GOP was trying to use Obama's tie to Ayers, his middle name of "Hussein," and his donor list to turn Obama into "a man of dangerous mystery."
I see an attempt, over the last seven days, to tie three points together in the thinking of older voters, especially, so that they can have a mystery about Barack Obama they hadn't had last week. One, this question of Bill Ayers, the Weathermen, back 10 years or so in Chicago politics or Chicago organizing politics. Two, his middle name Hussein. And three, the question of who his donor list includes? I think they're putting this together by demanding that donor list. They're trying to build the case that he's a man of mystery. That, not that he's a street corner guy from the ghetto but that he's somehow maybe connected to terrorism because of this past association with a terrorist. With his middle name being Hussein, which I predicted last week, everybody it's, everybody I talked to, it was coming out. And third this donor list game. They are trying to make him a man of dangerous mystery because they can't beat him on the standard issues of this election.
Between 6 a.m. and 12 noon on Monday, MSNBC featured six segments which replayed bits from Tina Fey's Saturday Night Live parody of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's performance in Thursday's debate. The SNL parody of Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden was only played twice, and both times were during Morning Joe.
This continues a trend that was also seen last Monday morning when MSNBC replayed Tina Fey's parody of Palin's interview with Katie Couric seven times while avoiding Saturday Night Live's parody of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
Along with the free airtime given to Fey's impersonation of Palin came some commentary by the various hosts of both Morning Joe and MSNBC News Live. First, Willie Geist commented that, "Sometimes you watch [Tina Fey] and forget what Sarah Palin actually looks like. She's so dead on."
CNN’s so-called Truth Squad, in two reports on Sunday and Monday by two different correspondents, labeled Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin "false" for stating that Barack Obama "sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country." The Squad, in their "fact-checking" of the Alaska governor, who was making a reference to left-wing terrorist William Ayers, obfuscated Obama’s past connections to the former leader of the Weather Underground. The Squad’s reports, which aired on CNN’s Sunday Morning program and on Monday’s American Morning, also left out key details about the Democratic presidential candidate’s past with Ayers.
The network first made an attempt at "fact-checking" Palin’s statement, which she made at a campaign rally in Carson, California, near the beginning of the 7 am hour of their Sunday Morning program. Anchor T.J. Holmes, after a report by Don Lemon on the Alaska governor’s claim, gave a brief look at the Obama/Ayers connection. "Well, nobody's exactly sure how well Bill Ayers and Barack Obama know each other. The New York Times, CNN, other news organizations have looked into this, found that they apparently did not have a very close relationship, it appears." Well, that’s about as clear as Mississippi River mud, and one might guess that Holmes was asking his audience to take the word of two liberal media outlets.
With the McCain campaign’s new offensive on Barack Obama and his ties with William Ayers, "View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg, on the October 6 edition, suggested McCain is playing this card out of desperation and using the same failed tactics of Hillary Clinton.
Discussing Ayers, Whoopi "assume[d] that he rehabilitated himself." When Elisabeth Hasselbeck, outnumbered three to one, reminded that panel that Ayers expressed regret in 2001 that he had not done more, Sherri Shepherd wagged her finger in Elisabeth’s face lecturing "no you don’t Elisabeth." Shepherd retorted that Ayers’ remarks were not about September 11, something already known, but do they make Ayers’ lack of remorse any more defensible?
Barbara Walters, for her part, called such campaign tactics "smears" even as Elisabeth asserted that they are not smears, but true. Walters, also added that attacks on McCain’s involvement in the Keating Five scandal was a smear as well and such attacks distract us for the many challenges the United States faces.
At the top of the CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith described how the McCain campaign was criticizing Barack Obama for his connection to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, but avoided any such label: "...dredging up of a character that Barack Obama knows from Chicago named Bill Ayers, who was one of the founders of the Weather Underground. So it's really getting crazy..." Smith offered no explanation of the terrorist activity launched by Weather Underground. In a later segment, correspondent Chip Reid also avoided the terrorist label, but did describe the activity of the organization: "William Ayers, a former radical who participated in a domestic bombing campaign during the Vietnam War."
At the same time that Smith and Reid worked to downplay Ayers’s terrorist activity and connection to Obama, they also bashed the McCain campaign for daring to even mention such a connection. Smith began the show by declaring: "It's getting ugly. Less than a month to go and the campaigns are turning negative in the race for the White House... Desperate measures or smart strategy?...And the campaign is getting nasty to say the least." In his report, Reid blamed the ugliness and nastiness on the McCain campaign: "But with a flurry of new negative ads and attacks, it's clear the gloves are now completely off. John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, is leading the charge...With the campaign's new bare knuckle strategy, attacking Barack Obama's character..."
"Does Palin have explaining to do," Chicago Tribune religion blogger Manya Brachear asked in her post-vice presidential debate blog post. Here's how Brachear opened her October 3 entry at her "The Seeker" blog:
Pentecostals have called on the mainstream media to stop mocking their sister Sarah Palin. But when will the Republican vice-presidential candidate answer the questions that swirl every time a new church video surfaces on YouTube? Was Thursday's prime time debate yet another missed opportunity?
By contrast, a review of Brachear's blog entries dealing with Sen. Obama's controversial former pastor,Rev. Jeremiah Wright, show Brachear did not have similar concerns with Obama's relationship with Wright. Indeed, back in June, Brachear asked, "Can a candidate worship in peace?" The Trib staffer was referring to the fact that Obama was leaving Trinity United Church of Christ, blaming media scrutiny for ruining the worship experience for himself and his fellow parishioners:
Good thing Nancy Pfotenhauer wasn't in the same studio with Harry Smith this morning. The Early Show anchor might have broken out his hickory stick. Like a hectoring school marm, Smith scolded McCain adviser Pfotenhauer for what he deemed her insufficient citation of a New York Times article tracing Barack Obama's affiliation with unrepentant terrorist William Ayers.
Wagging a stern finger at Pfotenhauer across the airwaves, Smith repeatedly interrupted her, demanding "what was the conclusion, what was the conclusion?"
A week-and-half before he'll moderate the third and final presidential debate, CBS's Bob Schieffer opened Sunday's Face the Nation by calling a foul on one team as he took sides and denounced Sarah Palin's daring to say, that “our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country,” as a sign of “a campaign that's turned down and dirty,” as well as “nasty,” thanks to John McCain's “new attack dog” who “took after Barack Obama in a style reminiscent of Spiro Agnew when he was Richard Nixon's running mate.” In the Washington press corps, a comparison to Agnew is no compliment.
Later in the program, he fretted to New York Times columnist David Brooks: “Do you think it's going to get nastier and nastier? It does look as if McCain is really going on the attack. You saw what Sarah Palin said.” Brooks, whom Schieffer labeled as a “conservative columnist,” assured Schieffer it would be an ineffective tactic since “Republicans have been using this attack -- too dangerous, too liberal” for “too long” and “you can't win that way anymore.”
Sunday night, ABC reporter David Wright described Palin's reference to Bill Ayers as “incendiary” as he asserted on World News: “Today, in San Francisco, Sarah Palin defended her incendiary comments that Barack Obama has been 'palling around' with terrorists.” Earlier in the day, ABC's This Week host George Stephanopoulos had scolded guest Tim Pawlenty about Palin's charge: “When Governor Palin says of Obama 'this is not a man who sees America as you do,' it sure does sound like she is questioning Senator Obama's patriotism.”
A beautiful woman, at once a scheming, ambitious right-wing ideologue, and the powerful, evil forces behind her, plot to seize the presidency from the man—foolish enough to have made her his running-mate—who may be concealing just how seriously sick he is, both physically and mentally!
As the stuff of straight-to-video filmmaking, not bad, perhaps. But as the theory of an ostensibly serious column in America's newspaper of record? And yet, that is the paranoid picture Frank Rich paints today in Pitbull Palin Mauls McCain.
[T]he 2008 election is now an Obama-Palin race . . . and the only person who doesn’t seem to know it is Mr. Past, poor old John McCain.
Watch in horror, as the scheming woman plots behind the muddled McCain's back!
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" last evening amazingly blamed Democrats for the current financial crisis, and accurately informed viewers that the Bush administration warned about the looming calamity many years ago.
In addition, much like a report Matthew Sheffield and I did for the Capital Research Center last month, "SNL" exposed the money behind far-leftwing causes and entities in a stunningly accurate fashion, including chiding hyper-partisan billionaire George Soros as being the owner of the Democratic Party.
Here are some of the highlights (video embedded right):
align="right"Catching up with an item from a few days ago: Barry Sonnenfeld, a movie director (Men in Black) and now the Emmy-winning executive producer and director of ABC's dramady Pushing Daisies, predicted on Wednesday's Late Show that amongst the things he's “worried” President Bush will do before leaving office is “go out by pushing the button and destroying all life on Earth.” That was too much for David Letterman, hardly a Bush fan (in June he asked if Bush has “any humanity?”), who responded: “It's just a little bleaker than I would have hoped for -- the idea that he would actually detonate the planet in a moment of despair.”
Sonnenfeld, who speculated about Bush hiding bin Laden, also wondered why Americans wouldn't vote for the “really smart” Barack Obama over John McCain who “finished second to last in his graduating class in college” and Sarah Palin, who “went to five different colleges,” and so “I'm thinking maybe she's got other talents than intelligence.”
With some mix of seriousness and humor you can judge yourself by watching the video clip (though how funny is it to joke about the President as some kind of religious zealot out to murder millions?), Sonnenfeld told Letterman he's “worried since it's October that George Bush will do one of three things: Either find bin Laden, who've they've had somewhere for eight months waiting to bring out” or “let's start a war with Iran. That's always a possibility.” Then:
And here's the third thing -- and I don't know much about the Bible and I'm not a big rapture guy -- but I believe George Bush is and what better way, if your polls are so bad, than to go out by pushing the button and destroying all life on Earth?
On Thursday evening, CNN's Soledad O'Brien ran a focus group at Ohio State University moments after Joe Biden and Sarah Palin finished their vice presidential debate (video embedded right).
As she asked attendees who they felt won, she used a stunning form a new arithmetic to conclude that Biden had "by a significant margin" (as noticed by Creative Minority Report, h/t NB reader Patrick Archbold):
Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin admitted Friday that she was annoyed during her interviews with CBS's Katie Couric because she felt the "Evening News" anchor missed a lot of opportunities to discuss issues "that Americans want to hear about."
Having taken a lot of criticism from Obama-loving media members about her performance during these interviews, Palin met with Fox News's Carl Cameron Friday to clear the air about why she appeared a tad ill at ease with Couric (video embedded right, relevant section at 2:25):
align="right'Perfectly encapsulating the coastal left's blind derision of Sarah Palin as an inexperienced “beginner” and thus unqualified, when the very same smart aleck cheap shots about her could be directed at the man with whom they have fallen in love, Barack Obama, David Letterman on Friday night asked guest Brian Williams if the nation can risk “a beginner in the passenger seat” (what about in the driver's seat?) and, in a sexist cheap shot, imitated Palin adjusting her hair during a 9/11 crisis as he impersonated her voice: “How's my hair?” That led an uncomfortable Williams to lean back and sigh, prompting Letterman to acknowledge “that's unfair. I'm sorry.”
Letterman, however spent the first half of Friday's Late Show before Williams came out and most of his time with Williams ridiculing Palin, and McCain for choosing her. Though the NBC Nightly News anchor Williams tried to separate himself from the remarks, and made some gentle counter-points as he preferred to joke about how he's the only one of the three anchors yet to get an interview with Palin, Williams never made the obvious point that much of Letterman's upset over Palin's inexperience could be directed to the top of the competing ticket. Or certainly could have been when he emerged last year as a candidate, but was not.
Note to all those media members claiming how much more intelligent Joe Biden is than Sarah Palin: the pompous, holier-than-thou Senator from Delaware spoke at about an eighth-grade level during Thursday's vice presidential debate while Gov. Palin communicated her thoughts at almost a tenth-grade level.
Say it isn't so, Joe!
As deliciously reported by CNN.com Friday (photo courtesy AP):
Evan Thomas, Editor at Large with Newsweek, on Friday night likened Sarah Palin to Louisiana's infamous demagogic Democrat of the 1920s, Huey Long. On Inside Washington, a weekly show produced and aired over the weekend by Washington, DC's ABC affiliate, but first broadcast Friday night on the local PBS station, Thomas reacted to Palin's suggestion in the VP debate that the Vice President has a legislative role:
Here's what's disturbing: Either she didn't know, because actually the legislative role is just about zero as Biden says, or scarier she has a little bit of Huey Long in her. The kind of -- you could see her being a demagogue, saying “I got to do this, the rules are in the way, to heck with the rules, let's do it.”
Earlier on the October 3 show, Thomas (Newsweek's bio), until 2006 Newsweek's Assistant Managing Editor and before that the magazine's Washington bureau chief, contended she reflected the worst aspects of President George W. Bush:
Sarah Palin may have pleased Republicans and surprised Democrats with her strong performance in Thursday night's vice presidential debates, but her "carefully scripted talking points" and shallow style were the opening theme of Friday's lead story in the New York Times by Patrick Healy, "Cordial but Pointed, Palin and Biden Face Off."
Gov. Sarah Palin used a steady grin, folksy manner and carefully scripted talking points to punch politely and persist politically at the vice-presidential debate on Thursday night, turning in a performance that her rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., sought to undermine with cordially delivered but pointed criticism.
Despite "Today’s" earlier praise of Sarah Palin’s debate performance, Amy Robach managed to assemble seven "undecided voters" (and reported that five voted for Bush) who did not express high opinions of the Alaska governor. On the October 3 edition, Robach found women voters she identified as undecided and from key battleground states. Although the discussion began with two of the women offering positive remarks about Governor Palin, the positive feedback ended there.
Polling these seven women, Robach found "nearly every one" held a less favorable view of Sarah Palin after viewing the debate. One voter claimed Palin "has sealed the deal for me" and she "is in no way ready...to be vice president." Another "made up [her] mind" because "Palin didn’t do it for me." Curiously, one "undecided" voter wanted a candidate that would "end the war" and because of Biden’s promise she was swayed to the Obama/Biden ticket.
All week leading up to Thursday night’s debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, NBC’s Today show suggested that the Republican vice presidential nominee could be a disaster on stage, pointing out how “conservatives question her qualifications;” “the McCain campaign is worried;” “Palin stumbled again;” and “not ready for prime time.”
But on Friday morning, after Palin proved the hand-wringers wrong, co-host Matt Lauer suggested that the “melt down” expectations were never the right yardstick for pundits. Lauer asked Tom Brokaw: “Everything you read and hear about the debate this morning is going to say that Governor Palin exceeded expectations, but in your opinion did she exceed expectations simply because she didn't melt down on the stage or did she show the kind of grasp of the issues and the subjects required to hold the second highest job in the land?”
On September 11, 2008, in anticipation of a speech that Sarah Palin would be giving at a ceremony for her son's deployment to Iraq, "Good Morning America" correspondent John Berman filed a report speculating that the Republican vice presidential candidate might be politicizing her child's military service (see picture at right). On October 3, 2008, Senator Joe Biden will be giving an address at a similar ceremony for his child's deployment to Iraq. The ABC program made no mention of this on Friday and certainly had no segments on whether the Democratic vice presidential candidate was guilty of politicizing his son, Beau Biden
During the September 11 piece, reporter Berman critiqued in advance Palin's speech: "And it [the speech] will be open to television cameras. It's such a drastic difference from the way her own running mate John McCain handled his own son's deployment." After observing that Jimmy McCain's tour of duty went unnoticed and that Senator McCain didn't discuss it, Berman added, "That stands in stark contrast to what Governor Sarah Palin told more than 40 million viewers about her son during the Republican convention last week."
There was one player on the stage in St. Louis on Thursday night that really failed to meet the standard of professionalism and national leadership: moderator Gwen Ifill. Her questions often failed the first journalistic test: they failed to press the candidates to take or defend a stand, instead of letting them unload their talking points. One came across as just plain incoherent: "Governor, on another issue, interventionism, nuclear weapons. What should be the trigger, or should there be a trigger, when nuclear weapons use is ever put into play?" That unfairly put Gov. Palin into a stumbling mode as she tried to figure out: what on Earth was bumbling Ifill trying to say?
While she offered a pile of liberal-tilting questions, Ifill offered Biden only one question from the right, about raising taxes on people making over $250,000 a year: "Why isn’t that class warfare?" Sadly, she didn’t let the sharp question stand. In the next sentence, before Biden could answer, she then went on to slam McCain’s health-care tax proposal as possibly "taking things out on the poor."
But the worst, most politician-indulging questions came at the end. This was the most distasteful question of the night: how would you abandon your running mate’s legacy if he croaked?
One candidate for Biggest Biden Spinner on Thursday night was John F. Harris, the editor-in-chief of Politico.com and a former political reporter for The Washington Post. In Jim Lehrer’s half-hour of post-debate analysis on PBS, Harris declared that "just as a neutral observer," it was obvious: on "whose answers were more substantive, who was more detailed, who responded to the question that was asked, there’s really no reason to assert a false equivalence -- Senator Biden won this debate." Historian Michael Beschloss agreed they weren’t equals, and insisted Biden "was a lot more human."
Harris also insisted that the reporters around him found Biden won: "I don’t think there’s any question that Senator Biden had the more substantive night, the crisper, at least to my ear more spontaneous night – because so many of Governor Palin’s answers were clearly points she was going to make irrespective of whatever good questions Gwen asked....If seemed to me and a number of us coming out of the filing center here that an awful lot of those questions, she got through the evening, but was hanging on for dear life."
Poor Joe. Ann Curry is concerned that the senator from Delaware was the victim of a double-standard during last night's debate that caused him to hide his light under a barrel. The Today show co-anchor [subbing for Meredith Vieira] expressed her misgivings this morning to Obama supporter Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
ANN CURRY: But he restrained himself to some degree. I mean, she called him "Joe," he called her "Governor." She attacked him, he didn't attack her. Do you think there was a double-standard at play here? Did Joe pull down his full game, and did that hurt him last night--and his ticket?
Six days after declaring Barack Obama the winner of the first presidential debate, following Thursday's VP debate George Stephanopoulos again decided the liberal Democrat in the debate, this time Joe Biden, was the winner -- but in assigning his “Nightline Report Card” grades he gave both Biden and Sarah Palin the same overall assessments: each got one A, one A-minus and one B. Asked by anchor Terry Moran to name “the winner,” Stephanopoulos argued:
Joe Biden, but boy, was this close. I think that Governor Palin did an awful lot to help herself tonight. There is no question that she beat expectations, that she was fluent, that she showed she could stand up there on the stage. She laid a couple of attacks there against Barack Obama, but going back to my first point on overall strategy, right now, this is a race where if John McCain cannot convince the country that he's going to take it in a different direction from President Bush, he simply cannot win...
The grades from ex-Democratic operative Stephanopoulos. On “Strategy,” an A for Biden and an A-minus for Palin; on “Style,” an A-minus for Biden and an A for Palin; and on “Accuracy,” a B for both.
align="right"Two themes in post-VP debate coverage Thursday night: First, “surprise” that Sarah Palin wasn't a “car wreck” and “did not embarrass herself.” Second, distress that she failed to answer moderator Gwen Ifill's questions.
On NBC, Chuck Todd observed “those that were tuning in looking for some sort of car wreck, probably came away disappointed.” CBS's Katie Couric proposed, without saying in which camp journalists fall, “the headline is Governor Sarah Palin did not embarrass herself or her running mate as some Republicans might have feared and some Democrats might have hoped.” Colleague Bob Schieffer asserted that “I think a lot of people were expecting” Palin “to make some sort of blunder or mistake and she did not do that.” Jeff Greenfield, also on CBS, decided “Palin passed the Tina Fey test. Anyone looking for a deer in the headlights experience didn't get one tonight.” Over on ABC, Diane Sawyer found that Palin, “after a bruising time in the media, showed up not just with confidence, but cheerful confidence that might surprise a lot of people.”
On Palin avoiding questions, CBS's Schieffer “found it a little disconcerting” that “time and again Governor Palin would just choose not to answer the question and launch in to some dissertation, sometimes talking points, and not really address what Gwen Ifill had asked her.” On CNN, reporter/analyst Gloria Borger charged: “I think at the beginning of the debate actually, Sarah Palin's problem was that she wasn't answering questions directly.” NBC anchor Brian Williams scolded: “Looking at some of the e-mail traffic and some of the commentary online tonight, people found it bracing when she said quote, 'I may not answer the questions the way the moderator and you,' Senator Biden, 'want to hear.' Of course, it's the only set of rules in town.”
Video/Audio: Click on frame above for video, compiled by the MRC's Michelle Humphrey, of Katie Couric, Bob Schieffer, Diane Sawyer and Chuck Todd. Matching MP3 audio (55 seconds)
After the vice presidential debate Chris Matthews criticized Sarah Palin for, of all things, looking into the camera because it made her look like a "dolt." In fact, the "Hardball," host took several stylistic shots at Palin that implied the Alaska Governor wasn't very intelligent. Audio here
When guest panelist Roger Simon noted Palin looked directly into the camera, Matthews observed:
You know what I think of people when they come on "Hardball," and they look at the camera, I think they're dolts.
In addition to the "dolt," remark Matthews viewed Palin's performance as "so reciting," and "automatic," "like a spelling bee," and charged:
The dangerous thing about these debates is that you can really recite your way to victory. You can memorize an awful lot of material and get away with it as intelligence, when in fact, it's just really good preparation.
The following exchanges occurred during MSNBC's October 2, post vice presidential debate coverage and then later on a special midnight [EDT] edition of "Hardball:"
At the top of Thursday's World News, just hours before the vice presidential debate, ABC anchor teased that “a new poll shows most Americans don't think” Palin is “ready to be a heartbeat away,” and, in explaining the advice both candidates are getting from their advisers, George Stephanopoulos fretted about “the dilemma for Biden,” which given that “we expect Sarah Palin to have some attack lines on Biden, on Obama. He's got to choose, at some point, not to let those attacks go unanswered.”
So there's the early media line: Biden will be the victim of attacks from Palin and must figure out how to counter those unfair attacks.
In the lead story, reporter Kate Snow did not cite any poll number about how “most Americans don't think” Palin is ready to be President, but she did highlight how “our new ABC News poll finds the public souring on Palin. One-third of registered voters now say her selection makes them less likely to support John McCain for President.”
On Thursday’s "Newsroom" program, CNN anchor Kyra Phillips treated senior Obama adviser/former ABC correspondent Linda Douglass more cordially than McCain supporter/Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, whom she pressed for an answer on the question of whether Sarah Palin is smarter than her opponent Joe Biden: "Is, is she deep enough? Is she smart enough? Is she experienced enough? Do you really think she is better than Joe Biden?"
Phillips had the two on for back-to-back interviews just after the bottom half of the 1 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. Phillips began her interview of Douglass by asking a softball question: "I just want what to know, as a strong female who's been very successful, is all this talk about, oh, Joe Biden needs to be a gentleman. He needs to watch his manners. He needs to treat Sarah Palin like a lady. Does that bother you in any way that that's even coming up?" Douglass initially responded by exclaiming, "What a good question! You are the first person who has asked that question today." After the Obama adviser completed her answer, Phillips followed-up with a light comment: "Good. But he'll still get the door for her, right?" The two of them shared a laugh over the quip.
On the 5pm edition of Thursday night's "Hardball," Chris Matthews ventured out into the crowd of students on hand for tonight's vice presidential debate at Washington University to see what they were looking for in a candidate. When one student responded: "I'd like a display of knowledge and expertise." Matthews interjected: "So you're on the Obama side, right?"
Matthews then asked a different student, in an apparent shot at Sarah Palin, if a "candidate for Vice President should be able to get into Washington University?"
This morning, Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, appeared on Fox News's Fox & Friends to answer a few questions about tonight's vice presidential debate between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Delaware Senator Joe Biden.
Grabbing the headlines the past few days has been the news that Gwen Ifill, debate moderator, has written a book subtitled "The Age of Obama" which is set to be released on the day of the inauguration of the next president in January. A win by Barack Obama could positively impact book sales and have caused some to question the impartiality of Ifill.