CNN's Anderson Cooper first defended the Obama administration's initial response to the Gulf oil leak and then criticized him from the left on Tuesday's AC360: "A month ago, it seemed like the federal government was on top of this. They were beating back claims...that this was Obama's Katrina." He later continued that "it doesn't seem like there's much pressure being applied to [BP], if it's there at all."
Cooper brought on CNN senior political analyst David Gergen and liberal presidential historian Douglas Brinkley for a panel discussion on the environmental disaster 25 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour. The anchor included his apologetic of the early response by the administration in his first question to Gergen: "David, I mean, a month ago, it seemed like the federal government was on top of this. They were beating back claims by conservatives that this was Obama's Katrina, and now, it seems that may have been premature."
Liberal publisher Arianna Huffington on Tuesday expressed sympathy for Fox News host Glenn Beck.
Appearing on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" to talk about Beck's bizarre interview with Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) earlier in the day, Huffington said, "And, to his credit, Glenn Beck...apologized to his audience for wasting an hour of their time."
She surprisingly continued, "I never thought anything would make me feel sympathetic towards Glenn Beck, but having to interview Eric Massa for an entire hour make -- made me really feel for him" (video embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary):
Stop the presses: David Gergen actually said something nice about the GOP Thursday.
"I don't think [the Democrats] got the breakthrough they were looking for in terms of the public, reaching the public and trying to change opinions," Gergen told Wolf Blitzer's "Situation Room" panel shortly after President Obama's healthcare summit ended.
"That is because intellectually, the Republicans had the best day they have had in years."
Gergen even reiterated, "The best day they have had in years."
Less amazing was the silence from the panel -- which consisted of Candy Crowley, John King, Gloria Borger, and Joe Johns -- when Gergen made this statement (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Hot Air):
CNN analyst Paul Begala stuck to his Democrat guns, or elbows on Tuesday night's Anderson Cooper 360. He urged Obama to keep pushing a liberal agenda and challenge Scott Brown: "Let's see if the president can throw him an elbow under the hoop." Brown made a pledge to get along and work together, and Begala said lay him out:
BEGALA: The one thing I might counsel them, though, if I was still working there, would be, you know, you show your character in defeat sometimes a lot more than you do in victory. And this is a moment, I think, perhaps the president can show his character. Does he really believe in this stuff, or does he just sort of folds his tent and go home? Watching him in the campaign, I think there's a lot more steel in that spine than perhaps Mr. Obama's critics think.
I saw senator-elect Brown saying he wants to play basketball with the president. The first thing I thought of it, yes, good, and let's see if the president can throw him an elbow under the hoop. Barack Obama is going to have to shift into a much more tough-minded fighting mode there as a populist mode. If he wants to sort of answer this very strident [Brown] speech we saw...
Update - 9:25 AM | Lachlan Markay:David Gergen commented on Brown's response. His comments below.
The death of Ted Kennedy hit the liberal media particularly hard. NBC's Andrea Mitchell caught the mood of the nation's pundits when she said the "heavens were weeping" during Kennedy's funeral. Now that Kennedy is dead, some pundits feel as if Democrats are entitled to the seat he left vacant.
CNN senior political analyst David Gergen had to be reminded of this fact Monday as he moderated a debate between the two candidates for Massachusetts's open Senate seat. He asked Republican candidate Scott Brown whether he'd be willing to "sit in Teddy Kennedy's seat and [say] I'm going to be the person who's going to block it [liberal health care policy] for another 15 years."
But Brown, refusing to take for granted Gergen's blatantly left-wing premises, responded instead: "Well, with all due respect it's not the Kennedys' seat, and it's not the Democrats' seat, it's the people's seat." (video and transcript below the fold - h/t Kerry Picket)
CNN senior political analyst David Gergen went so far to compare the Senate’s cloture vote early Monday morning on ObamaCare to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. Seconds after the Senate concluded its vote, Gergen lamented the party line vote, and contrasted it with the unanimous finding of the Supreme Court which ended the segregation of schools [audio clips from segment available here].
The analyst appeared during CNN’s midnight special coverage as the Senate concluded its debate on its version of health care “reform” legislation. Sixteen minutes into the 1 am hour, anchor Tom Foreman asked the perennial White House advisor about the expected partisan vote: “What’s wrong with the Democrats simply saying- fine, you don’t want to vote with us? This is entirely ours.”
CNN’s David Gergen played up the difficulties that President Obama has faced on Monday’s Anderson Cooper 360, underscored the importance of the coming week for the executive, and compared him to an iconic movie damsel in distress: “For a president who’s had more trials than anybody I can remember in a long time, sort of ‘The Perils of Pauline’ all year, this has become a climactic week for his presidency.”
Host Anderson Cooper brought on the senior political analyst to comment on the latest development on the health care debate, the Obama presidency in his first months, and the President’s upcoming trip to the UN’s climate change conference in Copenhagen. Cooper first asked Gergen about the potential for congressional liberals to turn against the proposed health care “reform” bill if the Obama administration cuts a deal with Senator Joe Lieberman over his objections to a Medicare “buy-in” for people 55 and older: “So, David, dropping the Medicare buy-in, could we be seeing- I mean, a liberal revolt in the wake of this? Because, I mean, a lot of people haven’t been following the minutia of this, but, basically, that idea of expanding Medicare to 55 and above, that was all for liberals, who were angered over the public option being dropped out.”
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour lashed out at the widespread criticism of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama on Thursday’s American Morning: “Can I just say, I think it’s overdone, this pushing back against his award. He’s obviously done something very significant, and that is...the United States has now had a new relationship with the rest of the world” [audio clip from the segment available here].
Amanpour and CNN senior political analyst David Gergen appeared just after the beginning of the 7 am Eastern hour, about an hour before the President formally received his Nobel in Oslo. Anchor Kiran Chetry asked the chief international correspondent, “[W]e received some of the embargoed remarks, and he [President Obama] does acknowledge quite soon in this delivery the controversy surrounding it, that perhaps he’s at the beginning and not the end of his labors on the world stage. How do you think that’s being received?”
The Iranian-born journalist immediately launched into her critique: “You know what? Can I just say, I think it’s overdone, this pushing back against his award. He’s obviously done something very significant, and that is, after eight years in which the United States was really held in contempt around the world, the United States has now had a new relationship with the rest of the world. This is what the Nobel Committee has rewarded and has accepted. This is what the polls around the world are showing.”
On Friday night's Anderson Cooper 360, the CNN anchor tried hard to spin bad polling news for Obama. "In the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll, 48 percent, less than half, said they approve of President Obama's performance, while 50 percent disapprove. The question is, how significant is this shift? Some folks will say, 'Look, it's just one poll.'"
But any White House would shudder at the tumble. CNN's poll on November 13-15 was 55-42 approve, and just three weeks later, it's 48 to 50. On Friday, NBC's Chuck Todd observed on Twitter, "CNN's poll had consistently shown the president with a slightly higher approval rating than either the Gallup, Pew or NBC/WSJ surveys."
Cooper brought in analyst David Gergen to explore whether this kind of tumble has been a historic problem for presidents. They puzzled over the biggest collapse, among non-college educated whites, guessing that's about the economy, not war.
COOPER: So it's not so much about Afghanistan, which was obviously a big story this week, and liberal Democrat dissatisfaction with him sending in more troops. It's really about money, the bad situation a lot of folks are still in?
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Fox officials agree that all this attention is helping ratings.
Three days before Howard Kurtz talked with White House communications director Anita Dunn about the Obama administration's attacks on the Fox News Channel, a number of CNN contributors pointed out how this strategy is helping FNC's ratings while hurting Democrats.
Such was discussed on Thursday's "Situation Room" by a panel consisting of CNN's Gloria Berger, David Gergen, and John King, as well as Politico's Nia-Malika Henderson and Republican strategist Tony Blankley.
Makes you wonder why Kurtz on Sunday didn't ask Dunn about the following tremendously relevant conversation that happened on his own network a few days earlier (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Mediaite):
Some very friendly assessments of President Barack Obama's health care address Wednesday night to a joint session of Congress, most gathered from the quick analysis in the short time between Obama and the Republican response:
♦ MSNBC's Keith Olbermann hailed it as “a broad and forward thinking speech” with “a touch of greatness.” (MP3 audio)
♦ On ABC, George Stephanopoulos saw “a pretty remarkable speech” and suggested “this might have been the most emotional speech I've seen President Obama give” as “there was even a catch in his voice” because “this is very close to President Obama's heart.” (MP3 audio)
♦ Chuck Todd, on NBC, recited how Obama endorsed an insurance mandate for all citizens, “came down pretty strongly for the so-called public option” and proposed paying for it all by “taxing benefits for the wealthiest.” Yet after that liberal litany, Todd insisted the address was “about re-branding the President himself as a centrist and a pragmatist.”
♦ CNN's Gloria Borger trumpeted how “there was something in there for everybody” before David Gergen lamented Obama's lost opportunity: “Had he given this speech three months ago, when there was a glow about his presidency, I think he could have swept the country...”
♦ [UPDATE] Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, during a 11:15 PM EDT edition of MSNBC's The Ed Show, celebrated: “The great news tonight is this bill is on track for passage. Historic change is coming to the United States.” (MP3 audio)
“It's a sad day to see a man of good work get so little credit,” CNN senior political analyst David Gergen regretted about Van Jones on Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, complaining about the coverage of the Obama “green jobs” czar who resigned late Saturday night after his radical views were exposed: “I mean, there's no balance to understanding just how many good things he's done.”
Jones signed a petition which charged Bush administration officials “may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war,” described himself as a “communist,” compared George W. Bush to a crack user, called Republicans “assholes” and made other incendiary race-based remarks, but Gergen saw a saint: “As he left Yale Law School, instead of going to a lucrative job, went out and worked with ex-prisoners, tried to create green jobs for them, has been featured in Time magazine, gotten all sorts of award for it.” (Audio: MP3 clip of Gergen)
Being championed in Time magazine is only a badge of honor for liberals. Back in November of 2007, in a profile of Jones, “Bring Eco-Power to the People,” the magazine hailed him as “magnetic” and a “visionary.”
Three of CNN’s political analysts- Jeffrey Toobin, David Gergen, and Gloria Borger- all gave President Obama B’s or B-pluses on the economy and overall job performance during the network’s special “The National Report Card: The Second 100 Days” on Thursday. These grades from these “non-partisan” analysts lined-up with the A’s and B’s that Democrats Paul Begala and Donna Brazile gave the president.
CNN conducted a non-scientific poll by phone and on the Internet of how the American people graded the President mainly on several issues, and others such as Hillary Clinton, Vice President Biden, and the news media in general at the 200-day mark of Obama’s presidency. As Wolf Blitzer and his so-called Best Political Team on Television presented the polling results, anchor Campbell Brown polled the “front panel” of Toobin, Gergen, and Borger, as well as the “back panel” of Begala and Brazile, and Republicans Alex Castellanos and Bill Bennett, for their personal grades of the subject in question. All of the participants held up placards with their grade, and explained how they came to that conclusion.
Just after the beginning of the 8 pm Eastern hour, Brown turned to the CNN analysts’ panel for their grade on President Obama’s handling of the economy. Senior legal analyst Toobin unsurprisingly replied, “I’m giving him a B. You know- he’s off to a decent start. He got a stimulus package planned. It passed. It seems like it’s having some impact, but the economy stinks and he’s the president and the buck stops there.”
It must have been a while since David Gergen dropped his resume in the hopper for Team Obama, so it’s no small surprise that it was about for him to turn on the rhetorical firehose and gush some love the White House’s way.
On the June 4 “Anderson Cooper 360,” Gergen was asked by the host to give his initial reaction to President Obama’s speech in Cairo. Gergen immediately mugged for the camera:
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Anderson, there was no way he could quite reach the summit with this speech. He couldn't please everyone. We're hearing a lot of nitpicking on aspects of the speech.
But, overall, it was the most powerful and the most persuasive speech any American president has ever made to the Muslim populations around the world, perhaps back of his background.
Cooper, to his credit, was immediately incredulous:
CNN's on-staff political analysts and reporters -- not just the left-wing political operatives (Paul Begala and Donna Brazile) were in awe of President Barack Obama's press conference performance. Just after it ended Wednesday night, senior political analyst David Gergen hailed how “in terms of mastery of the issues, we have rarely had a President who is as well briefed and speaks in as articulate a way as this President does.” Gergen enthused: “He's nuanced. He's very complete. He's up to speed on the issues” and “he's taken it to a whole different level in the way he speaks about issues.” So, “I thought he was an A in terms of material, but given” Obama's inaccurate assurance he's opposed to bigger government, “I gave him an A-minus.”
Former CBS News reporter Gloria Borger, now also a senior political analyst for CNN, endorsed Gergen's grade, “I'm totally with him on that,” before recalling how Obama “reminded the American people that he's accomplished a lot, but he has a lot still left to do” and, she reverentially asserted: “That's because he has so much more that he's got to do than Presidents in recent memory.”
Up next, Roland Martin, the fill-in for Campbell Brown as anchor of CNN's 8 PM EDT hour, awarded Obama an A and then Washington correspondent Jessica Yellin declared Obama “is tackling so many issues at once and in such a capable way that it leaves the Republicans unable to target any one issue.”
On Wednesday’s Anderson Cooper 360 program, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and Jeffrey Toobin voiced their skepticism about the hundreds of Tea Party protests across the U.S., with Toobin stating how it was “disturbing” that there was a “edge of anger at the government” at the rallies. He continued, “There is a real -- a real hostility that is not just politics as usual among some of these people....I think it’s indicative of trying to tap into an anger that’s beyond rationality on a part of a small group of these people.” Amanpour also asked if the protesters were “really out of step with the majority of Americans.”
Amanpour, filing in for host Anderson Cooper, began the segment just after the beginning of the 10 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. Before turning to Toobin, she brought on the network’s senior political analyst David Gergen and asked him a cynical question about the Tea Parties: “David -- is this, David, a grassroots movement, or is it something just whipped up for this moment?” Gergen began with an admission: “Well, Christiane, at first, I must confess, I did not take these very seriously. But they do seem to have gained traction in the last couple of weeks. And they have -- I think they are giving expression to what is a groundswell of a vocal minority, who are increasingly alienated and opposed to what the president is proposing -- is putting forward, the agenda he’s advancing.”
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper followed his colleague David Shuster into the gutter on his Anderson Cooper 360 program on Tuesday in making a vulgar “tea-bagging” joke about Republicans/conservatives. After CNN’s senior political analyst David Gergen remarked that Republicans were “searching for their voice” after two electoral losses, Cooper quipped, “It’s hard to talk when you’re tea-bagging.” [audio available here]
Cooper had Gergen and chief business correspondent Ali Velshi on to comment on President Obama’s economic speech earlier that day at Georgetown University. Cooper had asked Gergen about the Republicans’ “positioning” in response to the speech. The analyst touted how the GOP was “in disarray” and that they “have not yet come up with a compelling alternative, one that has gained popular recognition.” Cooper replied, “Tea-bagging. They’ve got tea-bagging.”
CNN latched onto two separate poll results on Monday that indicated that about half of Americans view the Islamic world negatively or don’t trust Muslim allies as much as other allies, and indicated that President Obama and others in authority need to be “educators” for the public about Islam. The network brought up the polls’ results on seven different occasions during their programming that day.
During the 8 am Eastern hour of American Morning, chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour first brought up a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which found that 55 percent of Americans “concede that they lack a good basic understanding of Islam” and that 48 percent “hold an unfavorable opinion of Islam.” After she read these results, substitute anchor Carol Costello responded, “I think the difference is that many Americans see Islam as an ideology instead of a religion, and maybe, President Obama has to kind of -- kind of put a definition on it from the American standpoint in Turkey.”
Later, near the end of the noon hour of the Newsroom program, Amanpour appeared again, this time with anchor Tony Harris. He asked the correspondent to “talk us through some recent polling in The Washington Post that suggests that the president is going to have to play the role of educator-in-chief when it comes to explaining Islam to many in America, even as he works for better relations with the Islamic world.” Amanpour first answered that President Obama was “trying to smooth...over and correct” the “terrible rupture” between the U.S. and the Islamic world over the past eight years.
CNN personalities Jack Cafferty and David Gergen continued the chorus of praise for President Obama on Wednesday evening for his first address to a joint session of Congress, twenty-four hours after he had given it. During his regular “Question of the Hour” segment on The Situation Room, Cafferty gushed that the Democrat “had that place in the palm of his hand for the entire time he was in that room” and, despite all the serious issues he discussed during the speech, that the president “seems remarkably unruffled by all of this, serene in an inner confidence that he’s got what it takes to lead this country back into the sunlight.”
CNN’s senior political analyst David Gergen was positively aglow after hearing President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening: “This was the most ambitious president we’ve heard in this chamber in decades. The first half of the speech was FDR, fighting for the New Deal. The second half was Lyndon Johnson fighting for the Great Society, and we’ve never seen those two presidents rolled together in quite this way before.” He later gushed over the agenda set by the executive during his speech: “I think we’re watching one of the greatest political dramas of our time” [audio available here].
Gergen made the remarks as he participated in a panel discussion during a special post-speech edition of the network’s Anderson Cooper 360. Eleven minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour of the program, host Anderson Cooper asked the analyst for his immediate reaction to his speech. After making his lofty comparison, he underlined the apparent ambition of President Obama: “I think most people would have felt just trying to recover from this recession and stop the flow of blood, and get a recovery going would be enough for one president. He’s saying no, no, no -- we’re going to do health care reform this year....Do energy -- we’ll do education. Thankfully -- do national service, and we’re going to cut the deficit.”
CNN’s two senior political analysts, Gloria Borger and David Gergen, reacted favorably to President Barack Obama’s performance at his first press conference on Monday night. Borger highlighted how the Democrat apparently “came across as a real pragmatist.” Later, Gergen stated that it was a “classic and shrewd exercise of presidential power.”
The two analysts participated in the network’s post-press conference programming, which took up the entire 9 pm Eastern hour on Monday night. Five minutes into the hour, Borger made her “pragmatist” comment, and continued with what she gathered from the president’s remarks: “What I heard tonight was somebody who kept saying I can’t afford to see Congress play the same usual political games. But the interesting fight that we’re setting up here is whether the new president really understands the role or can cope with the role that ideology now plays in our politics today.”
During a report on Monday morning’s Newsroom program, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta used a clip of Sean Hannity from Fox News Channel, along with clips from two of their resident Obama defenders, to outline how Blagojevich corruption scandal was a “distraction” for President-Elect Barack Obama. The graphic on-screen throughout the report even stated how the scandal was “Distracting Obama.”
Acosta began his report with an online ad from the Republican National Committee, which highlighted “Obama’s past ties to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and questioning the president-elect’s handling of the scandal” and how “[c]omplete with eerie music -- this...website video has the feel of a campaign attack ad.”
The CNN correspondent then noted how “not all Republicans approve the message,” including Senator John McCain, who suggested that Republicans “should try to be working constructively together” with the incoming administration instead of focusing on possible connections to Blagojevich. Acosta continued on this point by introducing the Hannity clip: “Even conservative Sean Hannity has noted what federal prosecutors have made clear, that there are no allegations of wrongdoing facing the next president.”
Last night, Larry King had four guests on his show to discuss the nomination of Eric Holder to become Attorney General. Even though Holder's role in the pardon of fugitive Marc Rich by Bill Clinton was highly controversial, not one of the guests had any real problem with that. Somehow Larry King couldn't find a single guest who would offer arguments against the appointment of Eric Holder. To get you up to speed on Holder's role in the Marc Rich pardon, here is an Associated Press story on this subject from last June:
The last time Washington attorney Eric Holder participated in a high-profile vetting, it was for fugitive financier Marc Rich.
The episode in 2001 became the final scandal of the Clinton administration and landed Holder, at the time the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, in the middle of a congressional investigation.
Now Holder, a co-chairman of Barack Obama's campaign, is one of three big names who will lead the search for a potential running mate for the presumed Democratic presidential nominee.
...In the Clinton pardon scandal, Holder was deputy attorney general when his duties intersected with the efforts of Rich's lawyer, Jack Quinn, who had been White House counsel earlier in the Clinton administration.
The entire matter was handled in an unorthodox manner - on a straight line from Rich's lawyer to the White House, with a consulting role for Holder.
Journalists on TV Sunday heralded the importance and impact of Colin Powell's long-expected endorsement of Barack Obama which he made on Meet the Press. Later in that show, NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell touted Powell's endorsement and critique of the McCain campaign as “a very powerful political statement.” On the same panel with Mitchell, Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham declared that “having Colin Powell endorse the Democratic nominee for President is like having the seal of approval from the most important military figure of the age.”
MSNBC was so excited by the news the channel produced a special Sunday Hardball devoted entirely to Powell's news. Chris Matthews teased: “Colin Powell, right in the kisser. Barack Obama gets the endorsement of the year. Let's play Hardball.” Cuing up a Meet the Press re-play at the end of the 5 pm EDT hour, Matthews celebrated: “This is history in the making, on Meet the Press, right now.”
NFL football bumped the EDT/CDT CBS Evening News, but both ABC and NBC made Powell their lead. With “Major Endorsement” as it's on-screen heading, ABC anchor Dan Harris teased, “Tonight on World News: On a roll. Obama wins a major endorsement from a major Republican.” CNN's 10 PM EDT Newsroom, which dedicated its first 30 minutes to Powell, plastered “Big-Time Endorsement” on screen before anchor Don Lemon wondered: “I know it is important, but just how important is this?”
CNN's Senior Political Analyst David Gergen, appearing on ABC's "This Week" Sunday, declared the announced support of Barack Obama by former Secretary of State Colin Powell "the most important endorsement of the campaign so far."
Judging by other media reaction, it is a metaphysical certitude Gergen will not be alone in his Powell-loving assessment.
Is this announcement really the bombshell press members that have been in the tank for the junior senator from Illinois since he first announced his candidacy are making it out to be?
Consider how left-leaning many of the statements Powell made on Sunday's "Meet the Press" were, and how unlikely they will do anything to sway Independent, Conservative, and undecided voters (full transcript available here, file photo):
On Thursday’s Anderson Cooper 360 program, CNN senior political analyst David Gergen followed the liberal talking points about how Joe the Plumber’s real first name is Samuel and how he doesn’t have a plumbing license. When host Anderson Cooper asked if John McCain benefitted from the attention on the Ohio laborer, Gergen replied, "Well, I think he was for a while. But I -- when we found out he was Sam the non-plumber, it changed a little bit." Gergen went on to treat Joe Wurzelbacher, who works with plumbing, as if he worked as a McCain campaign surrogate: "...I don't understand why the McCain team didn't vet the guy before they made such a -- you know, made such a focus on him on national television. I can guarantee you that the George W. Bush campaign, you know, which ran a highly disciplined campaign, would have vetted and would have known before he went out there about... his personal status."
CNN's Presidential Debate Report Card echoes most polls offered by the main stream media. It involves 60% Democrats as a sample group, and if your response doesn't agree with their agenda, then some ‘alterations' are made. In other words, the results are weighted to provide liberals with an edge.
The Web site's latest report card allows the viewer to rate the performance of both Presidential candidates in Wednesday's debate. Seems pretty straight-forward, right? But things weren't working properly for some readers.
In fact, when visiting the Barack Obama side of the report card first, all is seemingly well. Votes are counted and recorded correctly. Everything seems just dandy. However, when one visits the John McCain side first, things can get a little peculiar.
This peculiarity occurred several times early Thursday afternoon, and will be outlined after the break.
When clicking on a choice of grade for McCain's debate performance, I went with an A, as can be seen here with the highlight:
Within an hour of the conclusion of Wednesday night’s presidential debate, CNN’s political panel began sketching out John McCain’s political obituary, with senior analyst David Gergen drawing a round of laughter when he replied “beats the hell out of me” when asked by anchor Anderson Cooper what McCain could do next. Gergen bleakly suggested McCain had no chance and should end the race with his “honor intact” (which means no more attacks on Barack Obama):
I think you have to do everything you can to help save as much of the Senate and the House as you can for your party. I think you have to need -- you need to see if you can leave this with your honor intact. I think you need to go positive about what you do on the economy and get rid of this stuff about Bill Ayers and all this garbage that we've been going through now.
Recapping Wednesday's presidential debate TV journalists were struck with how Barack Obama conveyed an “appeal to the center” while a “sarcastic” John McCain showed “disdain and contempt” and was hurt by being too much of a right-wing “ideologue” whose “worst moment” came when he raised the name of William Ayers.
Also noteworthy: On NBC, Ann Curry pressed six undecided voters to “raise your hand if you know of people, and be honest here, who may not vote for Barack Obama because of his race.” And NBC anchor Brian Williams asked Hillary Clinton to assess Sarah Palin: “Is Governor Palin qualified to be Vice President or President?”
On “Nightline,” George Stephanopoulos went three for three for the Democrat -- four for four if you add in Biden over Palin -- in declaring Obama the “winner.” Read on for our recap.
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)