The count of prominent Democratic Party politicians who have decided not to attend the Democratic Party's convention in Charlotte, thereby attempting to avoid direct association with the formal renomination of incumbent President Barack Obama, is up to seven. Press coverage has been sparse. One can only imagine how much media end-zone dancing there would have been in 2004 had one governor, one senator and five congresspersons chosen not to attend the Republican National Convention to renominate George W. Bush.
On Thursday, the Hill had the story about the latest declared non-attendee, who admittedly is the least surprising addition to list (internal links are in original):
CNN’s Candy Crowley neglected to include sound bites from conservatives during a report about Sarah Palin on Tuesday’s American Morning, other than from the former Alaska governor herself. While Crowley did acknowledge the widespread support that Palin has among conservative Republicans, she only used clips from moderate commentator David Frum, Democrat Bill Owens, and colleague Wolf Blitzer.
The CNN senior political correspondent’s report, part of a series on the Republican Party’s future, highlighted how Palin was a “high voltage candidate,” and included five sound bites from the Republican vice presidential nominee. After noting her continued popularity amongst a “loyal following in the GOP” and her active year following the 2008 election, Crowley zeroed-in on the former governor’s weaknesses: “A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found 85 percent of Republicans say Palin agrees with them on their most important issues. But here’s the rub: only 49 percent of independents feel that way. It’s a telling measure of her political reach and its limits, that the Republicans who won governor seats in Virginia and New Jersey this year politely rejected Palin’s offers to campaign for them....Her clout is inside the party.”
"If the Republican Party follows the course of Palin and Beck and Company it's doomed."
So said Sam Donaldson on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.
Democrat Bill Owens victory Tuesday in the 23rd Congressional district of New York.
Readers are strongly advised to stow all fluids, combustibles, and sharp objects for the ignorance on display here might produce uncontrollable fits of anger (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Dede Scozzafava's exit from a major campaign gave readers a perfect glimpse into the double standard applied by the media when it comes to women in politics.
The World Newser, official blog of ABC's World News Tonight, ran an article November 2 lamenting Scozzafava suspending her campaign curtly titled "Message to the GOP - 'Moderates Need Not Apply.'"
The piece quoted three people sympathetic to moderates and a long quote from Scozzafava herself, but only one voice to speak for conservatives. Among the complaints was that conservatives targeted Scozzafava for being a woman instead of focusing on political issues.
Perhaps a report on Scozzafava's lipstick preferences would have been more substantive since that was counted as newsworthy on the World Newser blog just one year ago.
In covering Scozzafava, ABC got right to the point in the second sentence:
Does the National Journal's Hotline inhabit the same universe as the rest of us? Democrats lost two-out-of-three among last night's big races. But in declaring Winners and Losers among non-candidates involved with the campaigns, the only Losers Hotline saw were . . . Republicans and conservatives, with nary a Dem in sight!
Chris Matthews was only too happy to seize on the Hotline hitlist during his Sideshow segment on this evening's Hardball. Here were Hotline's three Losers:
Sarah Palin: for jumping into Hoffman's losing cause, whereas McDonell and Christie didn't invite her in and won.
Pete Sessions: the Chairman of the NRCC, who went 0-2 in special congressional elections.
"We'll always have Paris. We didn't have, we'd lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night."
So famously said Humphrey Bogart to Ingrid Bergman in the marvelous conclusion of one of the greatest films of all time, "Casablanca."
On Wednesday, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell shamelessly used a version of this line on White House advisor David Axelrod.
During her interview about yesterday's election results, including Bill Owens' victory in New York's 23rd Congressional district, Mitchell asked Axelrod about the Obama campaign documentary aired on HBO Tuesday.
This led to the following exchange that is guaranteed to make Bogie and Bergman roll over in their graves (video embedded below the fold):
NBC's David Gregory, on Wednesday's Today show, downplayed the huge GOP wins in New Jersey and Virginia as merely reflecting the "anti-incumbency mood," and "the change message that Obama" started last year. Gregory, however, did play up Democrat Bill Owens' win over Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the New York 23 congressional race, and even more absurdly Bob McDonnell's win in Virginia as evidence that the Republican's path to victory is to go moderate, as the Meet the Press host postulated: "What's striking is you have the results in New York 23, which Democrats will hold up as a great result for them, but then you have McDonnell winning in Virginia, a purple state. He's a social conservative for his political career, yet he runs more as a pragmatist, as more of a centrist and look at the result. He wins big, wins big among independent voters."
The following is the full Gregory segment with Meredith Vieira as it was aired on the November 4, Today show:
CNN’s Roland Martin picked up where Anderson Cooper left off on Monday’s AC360, claiming that there’s “the beginnings of a civil war” in the GOP and that Tea Party protesters “want to radicalize the right” in the party. Martin also claimed that the Democrats are more of a “big tent” than Republicans: “You have a Democratic Party that has no problem having liberal...moderate...and conservative Democrats.”
The liberal political contributor appeared with Tea Party Express’s Mark Williams for two segments starting three minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour. Cooper first sought Martin’s take on the New York 23rd congressional district race. Unsurprisingly, he forwarded the Chris Matthews/mainstream media spin on the contest: “There is no doubt you are seeing the beginnings of a civil war play out, in terms of folks who are saying that we do not want moderates, in terms of being involved in this party.”
Later in the segment, after Williams highlighted how Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava endorsed Democrat Bill Owens after she withdrew from the New York 23 race, Martin struck back with his “big tent” claim about the Democrats: “You talk about endorsing a Democrat. I’m sure Mark has no problem with former Democrat Joe Lieberman saying he’s going to campaign for Republican candidates....You have a Democratic Party that has no problem having liberal Democrats, moderate Democrats, and conservative Democrats. What Republicans are saying is, we don’t want any liberal or moderate Republicans. We only want conservative Republicans, and you cannot expand a party nationally only having just conservative Republicans. You’re not going to win long-term.”
Since Dede Scozzafava suspended her campaign for the open House seat in New York state's 23rd district Saturday, media members have been depicting her as a moderate Republican who was the victim of an attack by the far-right in the nation.
As NewsBusters reported hours ago, ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Monday said of events in upstate New York:
You saw this conservative candidate just come in and swamp the Republican who was pro-choice, pro-gay rights. And what the White House is trying to do even if they lose here is exploit- is fan the flames of this civil war.
With this in mind, one has to wonder how media are going to report the news that Scozzafava has actually recorded a "robocall" for Democrat candidate Bill Owens (audio available here, transcript below the fold, h/t Tweeter EndTheRoboCalls):
When Mike Allen appeared on Morning Joe today, the very first thing he did was tweak Joe Scarborough over the 3:1 odds, described below, that Joe had offered to those wanting to bet against Doug Hoffman. Joe responded that no one, including Allen, had taken up the bet. While Allen apparently didn't plunk down any dollars, it must be mentioned that at the end of the original segment, the Politico correspondent did say "we're in" on Scarborough's offer.
So let me acknowledge that in calling the race in the 23rd a toss-up, Mike Allen was right--not ridiculous.
Looking back, my two cents say the turning point might well have been the under-reported fact that when Hoffman, who does not live in the district, was interviewed by the Watertown newspaper, he demonstrated surprising unfamiliarity with issues important to the district including a major highway proposal and changes to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Not the kind of thing that gets national headlines, but important to people who live and work in the area. Candidates everywhere, take note.
The results should also be a rebuke to the New York Republican establishment. Remember that Dede Scozzafava was foisted on Republicans as their candidate by party chairmen meeting behind closed doors. If instead there had been a primary, Republicans would almost surely have chosen someone who would have won this race.
When you're an MSMer, you're an MSMer all the way--even when faced with facts that might make you like, well, ridiculous . . .
Mike Allen, appearing on Morning Joe, has declared the NY-23rd race a "real toss-up" despite a new poll from a respected organization showing Doug Hoffman with a 17-point lead.
The claim by Allen, Politico's chief political correspondent, was so absurd that, on the spot, host Joe Scarborough offered 3:1 odds to Allen and anyone else wanting to place a few kopeks on Dem Bill Owens.
Dede Scozzafava, the Republican and Independence Parties' candidate for the 23rd Congressional District of New York state who suspended her campaign Saturday, announced moments ago she was throwing her support behind Democrat candidate Bill Owens rather than the Conservative Party's Doug Hoffman.
This should make liberal media members ecstatic for the next 48 hours.
Scozzafava just released the following statement to the Watertown Daily Times (h/t Tweeter NYfitter):
Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post has written a story in his Morning Fix political news analysis that is sure to cause conniption fits over at the Daily Kos which endorsed "Republican" Dede Scozzafava in the New York 23rd CD race that has now grabbed the attention of the political world. The political news that Cillizza has reported looks great for Conservative Doug Hoffman, bad for Scozzafava, and very depressing for the Daily Kos (and Newt Gingrich):
The Iowa caucuses may be more than two years from now but a series of moves by potential Republican presidential contenders has turned a special election in New York's 23rd district into an early test of conservative bona fides.
In the last week three GOPers with an eye on 2012 -- former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin -- have weighed in on the race with Tpaw and Palin throwing their support behind Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman and Gingrich endorsing state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava.
(Polling and conversations with those close to the contest on both sides suggest it is now a two-person race between Hoffman and Democrat Bill Owens with Scozzafava fading badly.)